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Ten Main Fields Of Psychology

Abnormal psychology studies maladaptive behavior patterns and psychopathology.

Clinical psychology studies and applies therapeutic methods to the treatment of individuals experiencing problems in life.

Comparative psychology studies similarities and differences in behavior of various animal species.

Developmental psychology studies the stability and change of characteristics, such as intelligence or social skills, over the life span.

Educational psychology studies teaching methods to improve learning in the classroom.

Industrial/Organizational psychology studies work and working environments and applies findings to improve job satisfaction and productivity.

Personality psychologists study individual differences across a number of different personal attributes such as shyness, conscientiousness, etc.

Physiological psychologists study biological bases of behavior, focusing on the nervous system.

Social psychologists study behaviors of individuals in groups and how people affect one another's behavior.

See also Psychiatry.



Atkinson, Rita L., Richard C. Atkinson, Edward E. Smith, and Daryl J. Bem. Introduction to Psychology. 10th ed. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990.

Corsini, Raymond J. Concise Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2nd ed. New York: Wiley, 1994.

Hunt, Morton. The Story of Psychology. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Porter, Ted, and Dorothy Ross, eds. The Cambridge History of Science. Vol. 7, The Modern Social Sciences. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Segal, Nancy L. Entwined Lives: Twins and What They Tell Us About Human Behavior New York: Plume, 2000.


Golden, Frederic. "Mental Illness: Probing the Chemistry of the Brain." Time 157 (January 2001).

Hyman, S.E. "The Genetics of Mental Illness: Implications for Practice." Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78 (April 2000): 455-463.


American Psychological Association. Careers in Psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 1986.

Marie Doorey


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—A highly influential school of thought in psychology, it holds that observable behaviors are the only appropriate subject matter for psychological research.

Cognitive psychology

—The study of mental processes.


—A school of psychology that focused on the functions or adaptive purposes of behavior.

Gestalt psychology

—A school of thought that focused on perception and how the mind actively organizes sensations.

Humanistic psychology

—A school of psychology emphasizing individuals' uniqueness and their capacity for growth.


—The study of the brain and nervous system and their role in behavior and mental processes.


—Theory of personality and method of psychotherapy founded by Sigmund Freud.


—The study of behavior and mental processes.

Social sciences

—Fields studying society and its members, e.g., history, economics, psychology.

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Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Propagation to Quantum electrodynamics (QED)Psychology - A Brief History, Contemporary Psychology, Ten Main Fields Of Psychology